Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 17

Why does Paul Young get an honorary holiday today? Because Wikipedia's got 10 Paul Youngs. And particularly because the Paul Young that comes to mind of the average person on the street is the singer of such hits as "Every Time You Go Away" and "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted." But this is a different Paul Young. Today's Paul Young has had an uphill battle, particularly since he passed away in 2000.
He first made a go of it when he joined the Toggery Five, a British Invasion-era band. Two of the five would eventually join Jethro Tull; Young, meanwhile, would end up struggling for another decade before he would end up at the Sad Cafe, who offered straight-ahead rock songs in the late 70's post-punk era. They put a few songs in the UK charts, before calling it a day in 1981:

By 1983, Young and his family were almost penniless, when he got offered a job as a Mechanic. Genesis guitarist Mike Rutherford suddenly found the time for a solo project, so he began recruiting band members. He needed a proven, talented singer; he chose Paul Carrack. Then he decided he needed another one, and his drummer recommended Young.
Here's my favorite Mike and the Mechanics track, and its epic video:

The success of Mike and the Mechanics was the ultimate turnaround for Young; it even allowed a brief resurrection of Sad Cafe. He died in 2000, shortly after his sixth Mike and the Mechanics album. Jason Young, Paul's son, curates the Forever Young website, offering historical notes and re-release updates on the approximately twenty bands that featured the Paul Young he knew best.

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